In the words of great, noted philosopher, Joe Biden, “This was a big f-ing deal!” It was opening night of the North American tour of, arguably, one of the greatest rock groups of all time, now fronted by a singer young enough to be the grandson of its founding members. No pressure, right?
Arriving early at Chicago’s United Center, we were dumbfounded to see a single line around the block. We overheard a guard mention an “issue,” but never heard any more. All the while, storm clouds were rolling in. An ominous start, perhaps?
Maybe it was just me, but I felt a strong sense of electricity and anticipation, if not anxiousness, in the air. I hadn’t seen Queen since 1977. To this day, that show remains in my top five, all time and they were two hours late due to a blizzard!
On to the present. Obviously, being the first show of the tour, no one knew what to expect. The lights dimmed and “Procession” served as the instrumental intro. Cue the goose bumps. The huge curtain hiding the stage rose and for the first time in nearly four decades, I saw Queen perform “Now I’m Here.” Are you kidding me? Worthiness of admission price already achieved. I was still in bliss when they followed with “Stone Cold Crazy.” It appeared this would be a night of history in the making; one for the ages.
OK, on to the elephant in the room- Adam Lambert. How could anyone ever replace Freddie Mercury? Simply put, no one can or ever will. Period. End of story. Ready Freddie was one of a kind and it’s a tearful shame he is gone way too soon. That being said, if there is anyone on this planet who could pull this off, it is Lambert. To my ears, he hit every note needed. Trust me, most singers can only dream of doing Mercury justice.
Lambert also possesses the stage presence and swagger of a seasoned veteran. I think he stayed after class while studying Flamboyance 101. He definitely wears his personality on his gold-studded sleeves. I’m thoroughly convinced Mercury would give “Glambert” his blessing and wholehearted stamp of approval.
Founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor may have grayed a bit and gained a stone or two, but neither have lost a step over the years. Both performed extended solos and even took over lead vocals during, undoubtedly, Lambert’s many costume changes.
The only song I could’ve done without, forever actually, was “Radio Gaga.” But I guess they have to play the hits and give younger fans something to synchronize-clap to.
Lambert used a word during the show which I thought about earlier in the day- “spectacle.” Nailed it! Queen doesn’t merely do concerts. They perform spectacles.
I mentioned earlier Queen ’77 was a top five show. Queen 2014 is a top ten. Well done!
Photos by Patrick McParland
Videos by Cos2mwiz
- Intro (Procession/Flash)
- Now I’m Here
- Stone Cold Crazy
- Another One Bites The Dust
- Fat Bottomed Girls
- In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited
- Seven Seas Of Rhye
- Killer Queen
- Somebody To Love
- I Want It All
- Love Of My Life
- These Are The Days Of Our Lives
- Drum Duel
- Under Pressure
- Love Kills
- Who Wants To Live Forever
- Guitar Solo
- Last Horizon
- Tie Your Mother Down
- Radio Ga Ga
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
- The Show Must Go On
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- We Will Rock You
- We Are The Champions
- God Save The Queen
Once again… thank you to Cos2mwiz for the great videos